At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, we always get asked about problem solving for their excessive barking dog.
Seemingly, often times the dogs are displaying this behavior while locked in their crate/cage. Generally, this is a common sign of Separation Anxiety; additionally, many of these dogs try to Escape Their Cage, as well.
One of the most important things to do is never let your dog out of the crate “while” they are barking or whining. If you let your dog out of the crate while they are actively barking or whining, you have just taught them, “When I bark and whine, this door opens.” This is one of the biggest mistakes that owners make on a daily basis. We realize that an excessively barking dog can be very annoying; however, you must wait them out. Just wait until they are quiet, “then” let them out. You want to reward the positive behavior, not the negative behavior. Again, if you let them out while they are barking, you have just taught your dog that barking is what releases them from their crate.
One of the biggest solutions for this behavior is obedience training. At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, this is a very common behavioral issue that we deal with almost daily. Utilizing whichever dog training method you have been using, correct this behavior. By giving the dog a correction when the negative behavior is displayed and rewarding the positive behavior, your dog quickly learns to outweigh the pro’s and con’s of the situation, just like a person does. For example, we use the “off” command at our dog training facility, “off” is used to correct any unwanted behavior (barking, jumping, digging, etc).
A very simple solution for an excessive barker is getting a No Bark Collar. These are amazing devices that work wonders for dogs (and their owners). The one I recommend is the Sport Dog SBC 10R or the Einstein Bark Collar. A bark collar is a collar that your dog wears that automatically corrects them when it picks up the dog barking (vibration and audible detection built-in). When the dog barks it gives a subtle correction, if they bark again, a higher level correction, and then it repeats. These collars work amazingly well for some of the worst barkers.
Bark collars are a win-win for everyone! It’s a win for the dog because they cannot bark, and by them not being able to bark they cannot get themselves worked up and frustrated. It’s a win for you because you (or neighbors) do not have to deal with an excessively barking dog for prolonged periods of time.
So, if you have a dog who is constantly barking and driving you and your neighbors crazy, look into getting obedience training and a no bark collar for your dog. You will not regret it.